Virtual Movie Screening of Emmy Award-Winning Film “Dawnland”
Date: 5:30pm PST November 19
Virtual Movie Screening of “Dawnland” via Zoom
November 19th, 5:30 pm PST
Presented by: Indian Law at Lewis & Clark Law School
Sponsored by: Perkins Coie
Q/A with Esther Anne, MSW, (Passamaquoddy from Sipayik) after the screening!
Moderated by Dr. Carma Corcoran (Chippewa-Cree)
Upstander Productions (Adam Mazo) produced the Emmy award-winning documentary Dawnland. The film is about cultural survival and stolen children. It offers an inside look at the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans, which took place in Maine.
For most of the 20th century, government agents systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. As recently as the 1970’s, one in four Native children nationwide were living in non-Native foster care, adoptive homes, or boarding schools. Many children experienced devastating emotional and physical harm by adults who mistreated them and tried to erase their cultural identity.
In Maine, a historic investigation—the first government-sanctioned truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) in the United States—begins a bold journey. For over two years, Native and non-Native commissioners travel across Maine. They gather testimony and bear witness to the devastating impact of the state’s child welfare practices on families in Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribal communities. Collectively, these tribes make up the Wabanaki people.
The documentary follows the TRC to contemporary Wabanaki communities to witness intimate, sacred moments of truth-telling and healing. With exclusive access to this groundbreaking process and never-before-seen footage, the film reveals the untold narrative of Indigenous child removal in the United States.
The TRC discovers that state power continues to be used to break up Wabanaki families, threatening the very existence of the Wabanaki people. Can they right this wrong and turn around a broken child welfare system? DAWNLAND foregrounds the immense challenges that this commission faces as they work toward truth, reconciliation, and the survival of all Indigenous peoples.
Living at the easternmost edge of Turtle Island, the Wabanaki people are the first to see the new day’s light. If harmony and justice begin in the east, as some prophesize, surely the TRC is a sign of this beginning.
Esther joined the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service in 2003 where she works on projects that engage and benefit tribal communities including facilitating the Maine tribal-state Indian Child Welfare Act workgroup and creating child welfare resources with the Capacity Building Center for Tribes. She had a primary role in the creation and establishment of the historic Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Maine-Wabanaki REACH, where she serves as Board Secretary. Esther is a longtime community organizer who lives in the Penobscot community on Indian Island, close to her adult children and grandbaby.
Please register for this event to receive the Zoom information.